Working Group II, chaired by Irene Freudenschuss (Austria), met for three sessions on Saturday and two on Sunday, during which it addressed sections F (economic structures), H (mechanisms), K (environment) and B (education).
SECTION F (economic structures): In 156 (migrant workers), delegates agreed to a US redraft, amended by Sri Lanka, the G77/China and Norway, noting the contribution of women migrant workers, especially domestic workers, and referencing unemployment among migrant women workers. All paragraphs dealing with unremunerated work were sent to an informal contact group. In 159 (impact of globalization), New Zealand added a reference to pressures on women s employment and deleted a sentence on the gender-based division of labour. Delegates retained the language in 163 (obstacles to achieving potential). In 168(b) (State employment), the reference to "equitable" was deleted. Reservations were noted.
In 171(a) (remote areas), the G77/China deleted the bracketed reference to pressure to act against religious and ethical values. In 171(c) (micro-enterprise), an EU reference to enhancing women s opportunities was accepted. A G77/China reference to alleviation of multilateral debt was bracketed. In 177(c) (self-help groups and workers organizations), the EU added reference to an enabling environment. Canada added references to freedom of association and the right to organize. In 177(e) (research to promote gender equality), a G77/China reformulation with added references to women s studies and gender research (EU) and all scientific fields (Syria) was accepted. Brackets were removed from 177(g) (labor laws and social security for domestics).
In 180(a) (labour standards), the EU proposed a reference to ILO Convention No. 100. In 180(b) (measures to prohibit discrimination), all text but an EU redraft noting that there should be no discrimination on grounds of sex, "including by reference to marital or family status or [sexual orientation]" was agreed. In 180(c) (discrimination), delegates agreed on a reference to "older women workers." Brackets were lifted in 180(g) (occupational segregation), 180(j) (women with disabilities) and 180(m) (child labour). Brackets were lifted from 181(b) (equal access to work and social security). In 181(c) (parental benefits), delegates combined alternatives regarding legislation and incentives for "job protected parental leave" and benefits and the promotion of "equal sharing" of family responsibilities. A final decision was deferred for consideration of a Norwegian proposal to facilitate breast-feeding at work.
SECTION H (mechanisms): Paragraph 201 (regional bodies for advancement of women), was lifted from brackets, subject to consideration of a G77/China amendment identifying limited resources as an impediment to implementation. Brackets were removed from 204 (visible mainstreaming policy) and 207(a) (analyze impact of policies). In 208(e) (women in development), the EU agreed to lift the brackets with a rewording of the reference to improving quality of life for all. In 209(b) (disaggregated data), the G77/China deleted a reference to problems and questions related to women and men in society. Brackets were removed from appropriate indicators in 209(c) (research methodologies). The Group reconvened Saturday evening on Sections H (mechanisms) and K (environment).
SECTION B (education): Delegates agreed in 71 (right and access to education) that education is a human right. The G77/China, supported by the Holy See and Iran, proposed lifting brackets from 74 (educational and social environment). Australia, supported by New Zealand, proposed replacing "moral and spiritual" with "ethical." The EU retained brackets around the paragraph. In 76 (gender-biased education), delegates retained the reference to lack of sexual and reproductive education. A Canadian proposal regarding impact on adolescents was bracketed. In 78 (limited participation of girls), delegates agreed to a redraft noting that access and retention of girls and women is a factor in their progress in professional activities.
In 82(a) (anti-discrimination), the G77/China proposed lifting the brackets, the US proposed a reformulation, the EU proposed adding "as appropriate consider establishing procedures to address grievances," the Holy See proposed adding references to language and religion, and Syria proposed reference to approval of legislation to prevent discrimination in education. The paragraph remains bracketed. In 82(f) (increase enrollment), delegates agreed on the references to facilitating parents ability to choose and repealing discriminatory laws, but kept the reference to freedom of religion in educational institutions in brackets. In 83(f) (expand definition of literacy), the G77/China supported including scientific and technological knowledge in the definition, but the EU, US and others opposed. Delegates continued to work on this section Sunday evening.
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